Posts Tagged ‘zion weather’

5 Essential Items to Prepare for Zion Weather

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Zion National Park ranges in elevation from just under 4,000′ to over 8,700′, and temperatures can be quite different at varying elevations. Zion Ponderosa sits at 6,500′ and is therefore cooler than the bottom of the park, and that is a great thing during hot summer months. The upper areas of the park are part of large plateaus and are less shielded from breezes so during winter, spring, and fall, wind-chill is something to take into consideration.

Zion Hiking

Hiking to upper elevations in Zion National Park.


Layered Clothing:
With exposure to wind, sun, and the rare chance of rain or snow, it is always good to bring along some layers of clothing that can be easily added or removed. Light long sleeve shirts, and zippered leg-pants that turn long pants into shorts, or vice-versa, can be handy. If you intend to be in the water (slot canyons) it is wise to put some articles of clothing in water-proof or zip-lock bags so you’ll have some dry clothing.

Foil blanket and rain pancho

Take these items along every time you hike. They are small, light, and inexpensive.

Rain / Wind Protection: It is wise to include an inexpensive rain poncho, and an emergency reflective foil blanket, as these items are small, light, and always easy to include in a small backpack or waist pack.  These items can be converted into a crude shelter if needed.

Sun hat

Broad brimmed hats give better coverage from sun exposure.

Broad Brimmed Hat: No matter the time of year a hat is always a good item to have along since the skies over Zion are mostly clear, and sun exposure should be anticipated. It’s always wise to include sunscreen for any other parts of your body that will get too much sun exposure.

water bottles

Bring water on every walk or hike.

Water: No matter the time of year, if you are outdoors and walking for any lengthy period of time, you’ll need water. In summer months it is wise to plan on approximately ½ a liter of water for each hour, and depending on your level of exertion you may wish to have more. Water filtration bottles are easy to carry and not a bad idea for emergency situations.

Insulation: If you intend to go into one of the Zion area slot canyons where you’ll be in and out of water, then you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for water temperatures and sun-shaded canyons. In non-summer months water and air temperatures can be quite cool and you’ll need insulation for your feet, and/or your whole body (wet or dry-suit).

Other items for emergencies: It’s always good to bring a portable first aid kit and some matches or some way to start a fire to keep warm.

The Weather is Changing on us

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Being on top of a plateau isn’t easy – especially when summer ends and autumn can’t decide how long it will be.  Utah weather is so unpredictable, and in southern Utah and on top of a mountain doesn’t help much.  One weekend the sun was shining, kids were splashing in the pool, and ATV were zipping around the resort; the next day the wind was nippy and campers were scarce.  However, the guests who still come in the cold weather of autumn really prove their stuff.

Zion National Park in Autumn

Zion National Park in the Autumn

Cabin Suite Fireplace

Fireplace in a Cabin Suite

As the clouds descend lower and lower upon the neighboring mountain, we cant help but stop and stare at the mystical beauty.  Although the summer is amazing in its daily hustle and bustle, autumn is magic in its own sense.  The leaves change to a bouquet of reds and yellows, while the recent rain leaves a smell of freshness in the air.

But as beautiful as autumn is, it quickly changes on us.  Flakes of snow fall lightly upon the ground as a warning of what’s to come.  The air is turning frigid and the fire is crackling in the fireplace.  Hot chocolate and coffee sales grow, as do the jacket sales.  The foreshadowing of winter brings excitement for something new.

While October is just beginning, and there yet to be more weeks of warm days, filled with hiking and play, we look forward to the new season and the new adventures we will take, like opening a Bed and Breakfast and starting education seminars.  The weather is changing, and so are we.

Winter at Zion Ponderosa

Winter at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Zion Park – Springtime

Thursday, April 7th, 2011
zion park waterfall

A small waterfall in Zion National Park

Spring is a magnificent time to experience Zion National Park, and of course there is no better place to stay in the Zion area than Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Reasons Why Spring is Great!

1- Waterfalls: The upper areas of  Zion National Park and the mountains to the North of Zion range in elevations from 8,000 to 11,000 feet.   Snow is melting in these upper elevations and much of this water runs toward Zion and finds it’s way into the Virgin River.   The water will be running swiftly in the river so this is not the time for hiking the Zion Narrows, but some of the snow melt may find its way over the edges of cliff faces in the form of waterfalls.  If you happen to be in Zion on a day when we catch some rare rain, then the waterfalls will be all the more impressive.

2- Foliage: Water fills the valleys with plenty of moisture this time of year and the grasses and flowers are in their healthiest stage.   Water also works it way through the sandstone in the park and filters out at strategic points causing hanging gardens of lush foliage.  With a morning dew on the grass and flowers, Zion takes on its greenest hues, and this contrasts spectacularly with the red sandstone and deep blue skies.

3- Wildlife: Birds are starting their nests, wild turkeys are roaming the valley floors, and bighorn sheep, mule deer and other larger animals are moving about in strong numbers.  The world just seems to be more alive in spring and you’ll enjoy seeing the wildlife in Zion.

4- Temperatures: The valley floor of the main canyon in Zion is just 4,000 feet in elevation.  Air temperatures usually run in the 70′s or 80′s at this time of year, and that’s great temps for walking, hiking, taking photographs, and driving with the windows down.

So there’s four good reasons to get to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, as soon as you can make your reservations!  We have some great special rates going on for weekdays this spring – learn more